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5 Keys: Bruins at Maple Leafs, Game 3

Boston needs to repeat strong forechecking effort; Toronto hoping Matthews finds scoring touch

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / NHL.com Staff Writer

BRUINS at MAPLE LEAFS

7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NESN, CBC, TVAS

Best-of-7 series tied 1-1

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Maple Leafs series coverage]

 

The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs will play for a 2-1 lead in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.

The Bruins won 4-1 in Game 2 after the Maple Leafs earned a 4-1 victory in Game 1.

When a best-of-7 series is tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 is 212-100 (67.9 percent) all time.

Here are 5 keys for Game 3:

 

1. Replacing Nazem Kadri

Kadri has been suspended for the rest of the first round for his cross check on Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk at 14:03 of the third period of Game 2. The Maple Leafs forward received a five-minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct. 

Video: Bruins rebound to even series with Maple Leafs at 1-1

Toronto coach Mike Babcock said Sunday that he is making contingency plans to fill Kadri's spot in the lineup.

"Obviously I've got a couple of options in (Patrick) Marleau and (William) Nylander, so we'll work that out and decide what's best so we can get back to playing like we did in Game 1," Babcock said.

Marleau and Nylander, each of whom usually plays on the wing, saw time at center when the Maple Leafs and Bruins played in the first round last season, when Kadri was suspended for three games for an illegal hit on Boston's Tommy Wingels during Game 1.

 

2. Bruins health -- or lack thereof

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Boston's depth could be tested given the number of players who are banged up. Forward Jake DeBrusk and defensemen Torey Krug each sustained an upper-body injury during Game 2 but will play. Defenseman Connor Clifton, who also sustained an upper-body injury in Game 2, is out and will be replaced by Steven Kampfer, who will make his NHL postseason debut. 

Cassidy also said forward Marcus Johansson, who missed Game 2 because of an illness, remains sick and won't play Game 3.

Having DeBrusk and Krug back are bonuses for Boston. DeBrusk was fourth on the Bruins with 27 goals during the regular season. Krug had 53 points (six goals, 47 assists) in 64 games, fifth on the Bruins.

Defenseman Jakub Zboril and forward Paul Carey had been called up from Providence of the American Hockey League on Sunday. It's unlikely either will be needed for Game 3.

 

3. Boston forecheck

Game 2 saw the Bruins' forecheck attack with far more pressure and physicality than it had in Game 1. They were able to grind down the Maple Leafs' defensemen by consistently taking the body whenever possible.

"They didn't give us a lot of time," Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly said after Game 2.

If the Bruins can sustain that forecheck, they should again be able to wear down the Maple Leafs. But if Toronto can use its speed more effectively, similar to what it did in Game 1, it should be able to create odd-man rushes off transition and use its offensive skill to overwhelm what could be a shorthanded Boston defensemen group.

 

4. Frederik Andersen must remain in the zone

Andersen has stopped 74 of 79 shots (.937 save percentage) through the first two games. Some of those saves have been highlight-reel worthy.

He was the Maple Leafs' best player despite the loss in Game 2 and needs to maintain his high level of play if Toronto hopes to earn its first postseason series victory since 2004. His play has been significantly better than it was late in the regular season, when he went 3-3-3 with an .881 save percentage in his final 10 games.

Video: TOR@BOS, Gm2: Andersen denies DeBrusk on the rush

 

5. Can Auston Matthews find his offense?

To be fair, the Maple Leafs forward is proving to be a much better 200-foot player than he was a year ago. In each of the first two games in Boston, Matthews showed a lot of energy on the back check and made a couple of diving defensive plays to prevent the Bruins from finishing prime scoring chances.

At the same time, the Maple Leafs need him to find his scoring touch if they are to advance to the second round. Matthews has no points in the series and has two points (one goal, one assist) in nine postseason games against the Bruins.

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Karson Kuhlman

Danton Heinen -- Charlie Coyle -- David Backes

Joakim Nordstrom -- Noel Acciari -- Chris Wagner

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Steven Kampfer

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Paul Carey, Zane McIntyre

Injured: Sean Kuraly (broken hand), John Moore (upper body), Marcus Johansson (illness), Kevan Miller (lower body), Connor Clifton (upper body)

 

Maple Leafs projected lineup

Zach Hyman -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner

Andreas Johnsson -- Auston Matthews -- Kasperi Kapanen

Patrick Marleau -- William Nylander -- Connor Brown

Tyler Ennis -- Frederik Gauthier -- Trevor Moore

Morgan Rielly -- Ron Hainsey

Jake Muzzin -- Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner -- Travis Dermott

Frederik Andersen

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Nic Petan, Justin Holl, Igor Ozhiganov, Martin Marincin, Calle Rosen, Garret Sparks, Nazem Kadri

Injured: None

 

Status report

Kampfer will make his playoff debut after scratched for Games 1 and 2. … McAvoy and DeBrusk, who were day to day, will play. Clifton, who was injured in Game 2, will not be. ... Kadri had an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety in New York on Monday for his cross check to DeBrusk's head in Game 2. Ennis will play after being scratched for Games 1 and 2.

 

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